Over the past 12 months, significant engagement with our Steering Group and the many stakeholders and land managers impacted by feral pigs has led to the development of the first-ever National Feral Pig Action Plan. I’m pleased to advise that, following stakeholder feedback from its month-long consultation period during February, the final draft plan has now been provided to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. The plan is with the Environment and Invasives Committee, which is comprised of state, territory and Commonwealth representatives from primary industry and environment departments, for consideration. The plan will be finalised once it is endorsed by the national biosecurity committee. The updated draft plan is now available at feralpigs.com.au/the-plan
While it’s all very well to have words on a page, we are strongly focussed on implementing the plan to achieve and maintain much-needed reductions in feral pig impacts. To drive this, an implementation committee is being established to oversee the plan’s implementation, set strategic priorities and attract long-term investment. Partnerships between public, private and not-for-profit entities are needed to support and encourage land managers to conduct continued and coordinated best-practice feral pig management programs.
An annual operating plan is currently being drafted, setting out priorities and key performance indicators for the next 12 months. As interstate travel is becoming more feasible, we are engaging with as many stakeholders as possible to outline what is needed to achieve a sustained reduction in the many environmental, agricultural, cultural and social impacts caused by feral pigs.
We are also increasing awareness of the national feral pig action plan itself, including local coordinated programs that land managers can take part in. The purpose of the plan is to guide and support land managers to work together to deliver effective, coordinated, sustained and humane best-practice management of feral pigs. The plan’s actions are focussed on suppression or eradication where feasible of feral pig populations to reduce their impacts.
The three key goals of the plan are, first, to provide leadership and strategic coordination for sustained feral pig management. Second, build community awareness of impacts caused by feral pigs and enhance capacity and capability of all land managers to apply humane, best practice management. And third, increase the adoption of best practice methods and systems by land managers.
Information hub update
We have recently launched an information hub on the website – feralpigs.com.au/info-hub – to showcase the many feral pig management programs and research projects being conducted around Australia, build networks between programs and share knowledge. During April, an additional 25 programs were added.
If you know of any coordinated feral pig management programs being undertaken in your area, email firstname.lastname@example.org, so they can be included. To subscribe to the monthly newsletter, email email@example.com
To discuss any items in this article, contact Dr Heather Channon, national feral pig management coordinator on 0423 056 045 or email firstname.lastname@example.org